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do We Believe Joseph Smith or Lds Apologists? Joseph Says He Could Translate Egyptian.


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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

You're proficient in the words "thank you"! ;) Hehehe! 

Where is your like button? or is there some dark backstory I missed?

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46 minutes ago, gav said:

Where is your like button? or is there some dark backstory I missed?

Yes, the board moderators put me on "limited". In the past I got banned from a few topics and sometimes would start too many topics. So it's maybe a good thing! 😁 Thanks for the "like" gav!

Edited by Tacenda
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I'd like to apologize for implying I am fluent in Greek, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Elvish, and Klingon for using at least one quote from each of those languages on this board. I hope I did not imply that I am fluent in all of them and make anyone like Fair Dinkum feel inferior.

Edited by The Nehor
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On 8/15/2020 at 2:23 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

In a 1843 letter to The Green Mountain Boys, Joseph “tries” to convince the recipient of his letter that he is quite conversant in multiple languages. He even includes examples of his proficiency in each of these languages including many known and a few dead languages. Despite wanting his intended audience to believe he was allegedly fluent in each of the languages he claimed he could speak, Egyptian was one he failed miserably at when seen with a modern lens. 

This letter confirms that Joseph couldn’t speak Egyptian but wanted those around him to believe he could. 

Oh really.  I must have missed that part.  Oh well.

On 8/15/2020 at 2:23 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

Sorry, but why isn’t this problematic? 

I don't let things I don't know or understand bother me.  So no problem.  Life goes by much easier with this attitude.

On 8/15/2020 at 2:23 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

Yeah I looked but I didn't see where the letter said Joseph couldn’t speak Egyptian but wanted those around him to believe he could. Maybe I just missed that part, if the letter actually said it.  Oh well.

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On 8/16/2020 at 11:30 AM, OGHoosier said:

However, that doesn't matter so much in light of the seeming fact that the Egyptian phrase in question, "Su-e-eh-ni", was derived from the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. As noted by Brown in TatG page 60-61, the definition for "Su-e-eh-ni" in the Appeal is almost identical to the entry in the Egyptian alphabet : "What other person is that? Who." vs. "What other persons are those?" It should be noted that there is a likely error in Brown's analysis here: on page 61 he attributes the handwriting on the Egyptian alphabet page to Joseph Smith, but the JSPP attributes it to Oliver Cowdery. Brown acknowledges in the footnotes that his attribution is contended and he published it in 2007, so I'm going to trust the JSPP here and go with Cowdery. 

My understanding of the Egyptian issues is slight, so I must apologize in advance for boneheaded observations.

But nobody understood Egyptian at the time of Joseph Smith's letter to the point they could render phonetic renderings of hieroglyphs.   Your Brown author nowhere says that "Su-e-eh-ni" is legitimate Egyptian, as you seem to state.  It may be consistent with Joseph Smith's made-up (I use "made-up" carefully; there could be a number of revelatory explanations) Egyptian which apparently is not supported by any scholarship today.

Where am I wrong with this?  '

Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian?  That is the question I'd like you to answer.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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On 8/16/2020 at 8:37 AM, Fair Dinkum said:

He wants to leave the impression that he is conversant in multiple languages  

Not conversant necessarily but that he knows those few phrases, just as when I say Oy vey! or when I use a nom de plume to say a few things I am not necessarily saying I know everything in those languages.

Edited by Ahab
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54 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I'd like to apologize for implying I am fluent in Greek, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Elvish, and Klingon for using at least one quote from each of those languages on this board. I hope I did not imply that I am fluent in all of them and make anyone like Fair Dinkum feel inferior.

Implications are a lot like assumptions in that others often think someone is saying something they are not actually saying.  There is a right way and then there are a lot of wrong ways to read someone else's mind.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

My understanding of the Egyptian issues is slight, so I must apologize in advance for boneheaded observations.

But nobody understood Egyptian at the time of Joseph Smith's letter to the point they could render phonetic renderings of hieroglyphs.   Your Brown author nowhere says that "Su-e-eh-ni" is legitimate Egyptian, as you seem to state.  It may be consistent with Joseph Smith's made-up (I use "made-up" carefully; there could be a number of revelatory explanations) Egyptian which apparently is not supported by any scholarship today.

Where am I wrong with this?  '

Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian?  That is the question I'd like you to answer.  

Here are the relevant points:

Quote

The gist of this paper is that Joseph and co. weren't going for Egyptian qua Egyptian, but for an older language they thought lay behind it. Egypt, however, to them represented the absolute furthest reaches of antiquity, so they called the whole project Egyptian. The KEP features original characters with Hebrew and Greek influences at times as an extension of the Pure Language Project, by which Smith and his associates sought to reach past Babel to the language of Adam, which they believed had partially diffused throughout the language systems of the world. They sought to uncover the Adamic language in the same way as the ecstatic practitioners of glossalalia. 

  Quote

"Sacred language also expressed itself in less formal ways. In outbursts of charismatic religion probably drawn from scattered sectarian revivalists, some early Mormons participated in dramatic hymn-singing in unknown tongues, patterned on the account in Acts (2:1-21) of the first self-consciously Christian Pentecost, itself the miraculous inversion of the Tower of Babel. Early Mormons proposed two main accounts for their gift of tongues, either evangelism-focused mastery of America’s Native languages or fleeting access to the lost language of Adam.Though intermittent power struggles occurred between Church leaders and some of the most energetic charismatics within Mormonism, tongue speaking had an important role in lived religion for many early Mormons. At least some of this power was associated with tongue-speaking’s claim to the priority of Adamic over human languages." -LoH, 58-59

Brown argues that the KEP could well be an example of glossalalia on the part of  Joseph Smith and his associates, just written down. Joseph taught that to speak in an unknown tongue was fine so long as somebody had the gift of interpretation of tongues and could therefore explain the meaning. I find this to be a very interesting way of viewing the KEP and related excerpts such as the Appeal: glossalalic revelation of the primeval language crystallized, captured in a moment in time on fading paper. 

Where in there am I saying that Joseph Smith and his associates were seeking for the language of Ramses? I specifically said that Smith and his associates were seeking the language of Adam. 

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45 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Here are the relevant points:

Where in there am I saying that Joseph Smith and his associates were seeking for the language of Ramses? I specifically said that Smith and his associates were seeking the language of Adam. 

Can you please answer my question. Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian?  I mean, the letter to the Green Mountain Boys says that it is.  Or should I read the letter to say something other than it says?  That when Joseph Smith said, "Egyptian," he really meant to say "Adamic?" 

Can you at least admit that when that letter was written it was impossible for anybody to reach the conclusion about Egyptian?  No sophistry please.  Just a reasoned answer based upon secular evidence.

On November 13, 1843, Joseph Smith wrote a letter that appeared in Times and Seasons which stated:  "Were I an Egyptian, I would exclaim Jah-oh-eh, Enish-go-on-dosh, Flo-ees-Flos-is-is; [O the earth! the power of attraction, and the moon passing between her and the sun.]"  Is this really Egyptian?
 

Edited by Bob Crockett
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4 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Can you please answer my question. Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian? 

Joseph seemed to be saying it was Egyptian, unless maybe the Egyptian would have been speaking in another language when making that comment.  Are you saying it is real Egyptian?  Or that it is not?  How would you know what it is?

4 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I mean, the letter to the Green Mountain Boys says that it is.  Or should I read the letter to say something other than it says?

You have both options and may do as you please.

4 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Can you at least admit that when that letter was written it was impossible for anybody to reach that conclusion?  No sophistry please.  Just a reasoned answer.

No, with God's help it would not be impossible for someone to know real Egyptian, or what a real Egyptian would say when asked a particular question.  Because God knows everything and can share some of what he knows with others.

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14 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Joseph seemed to be saying it was Egyptian, unless maybe the Egyptian would have been speaking in another language when making that comment.  Are you saying it is real Egyptian?  Or that it is not?  How would you know what it is?

Can you answer the question:  "Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian?"  

Enough work has been done in translating Egyptian to answer the question.  Is there any secular support? [I am not implying or saying anything by my question, so please don't ask.]

I know all the arguments:   The letter wasn' t composed by Joseph Smith.  But the phrase appears in the KEP.  Joseph Smith also uttered similar phrases in articles to the TImes & Seasons.   What should I make of such things?  Or is the answer found in backsprings and sophistry?

Edited by Bob Crockett
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1 minute ago, Bob Crockett said:

Can you answer the question:  "Where may I read that ""Su-e-eh-ni" is real Egyptian?"  

Enough work has been done in translating Egyptian to answer the question.  Is there any secular support?

I don't know if it is real Egyptian and I don't know if anyone has said it is.  That letter says Joseph said that's what a real Egyptian would say but that letter may be wrong in saying that is something Joseph said and even if a real Egyptian would say that it wouldn't necessarily mean that language is in the real Egyptian language, since real Egyptians likely knew some other languages.  So, as far as I know, I don''t know.

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5 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Does anybody here really think that Joseph Smith knew Egyptian?  I mean, the language uttered by anybody in the era of the Book of Abraham? Spoken or written in Egypt?

Yes I believe he knew some real Egyptian, as well as some of the reformed Egyptian hybrid.  The text from which the Book of Abraham was translated was real Egyptian text, from Egypt, and God helped him to translate it.

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11 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I don't think Joseph Smith thought he "knew" how to translate Egyptian anymore than he "knew" how to translate Reformed Egyptian in the Book of Mormon.  The "translations" (as he called them) for the Book of Mormon and book of Abraham were given to him by revelation, and therefore the only knowledge required on Joseph Smith's part was that which allowed him to receive and confirm that revelation.  But I do suspect that Joseph and others were trying to make sense of the Egyptian language given the materials available to them at the time, but that was a totally separate and completely secular venture. 

Is there evidence, anywhere in the world, that KEP phrases he translated or Egyptian phrases he uttered in the Green Mountain letter or Times & Seasons articles matched up with what scholars agree today is Egyptian?

Don't bother.  I already know the answer.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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34 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Is there evidence, anywhere in the world, that KEP phrases he translated or Egyptian phrases he uttered in the Green Mountain letter or Times & Seasons articles matched up with what scholars agree today is Egyptian?

Don't bother.  I already know the answer.

So it’s not a question, then, it’s an assertion. Are you accusing the prophet of lying?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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On 8/15/2020 at 5:23 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

In a 1843 letter to The Green Mountain Boys, Joseph “tries” to convince the recipient of his letter that he is quite conversant in multiple languages. He even includes examples of his proficiency in each of these languages including many known and a few dead languages. Despite wanting his intended audience to believe he was allegedly fluent in each of the languages he claimed he could speak, Egyptian was one he failed miserably at when seen with a modern lens. 

This letter confirms that Joseph couldn’t speak Egyptian but wanted those around him to believe he could. 
  
Sorry, but why isn’t this problematic? 

 

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/transcript/general-joseph-smiths-appeal-to-the-green-mountain-boys-december-1843?print=true

It is problematic. Very much so.

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So it’s not a question, then, it’s an assertion. Are you accusing the prophet of lying?

You don't have to get in my face and be so confrontational.   OK, it is a question and you may answer it if you'd like.

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14 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I don't think Joseph Smith thought he "knew" how to translate Egyptian anymore than he "knew" how to translate Reformed Egyptian in the Book of Mormon.  The "translations" (as he called them) for the Book of Mormon and book of Abraham were given to him by revelation, and therefore the only knowledge required on Joseph Smith's part was that which allowed him to receive and confirm that revelation.  But I do suspect that Joseph and others were trying to make sense of the Egyptian language given the materials available to them at the time, but that was a totally separate and completely secular venture. 

So was it revelation which inspired Joseph to declare the papyri included writings of Abraham and Joseph?  

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2 minutes ago, Robert J Anderson said:

Didn't he lie about polygamy?  He always said he wasn't perfect.

He lied pretty creatively, he said he only knew but one wife. So maybe in his mind he's thinking that by law only one wife counted!

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18 minutes ago, Robert J Anderson said:

Sure, I'll give you that.  It was misleading though.

100%

ETA: Or maybe a whole group of people not believing Joseph lived polygamy are correct and he didn't lie. Those people say BY and others made it up that Joseph lived it. 

Edited by Tacenda
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18 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I don't think Joseph Smith thought he "knew" how to translate Egyptian anymore than he "knew" how to translate Reformed Egyptian in the Book of Mormon.  The "translations" (as he called them) for the Book of Mormon and book of Abraham were given to him by revelation, and therefore the only knowledge required on Joseph Smith's part was that which allowed him to receive and confirm that revelation.  But I do suspect that Joseph and others were trying to make sense of the Egyptian language given the materials available to them at the time, but that was a totally separate and completely secular venture. 

i envision Joseph translating the texts something like this:  When preparing to translate the texts, Joseph placed the source documents in front of himself and then thought something like this: 

Here are the plates Moroni helped me to find and I know God can help me to translate them, so I will now proceed to do what God has told me to do so that I can now translate them.

The idea that Joseph didn't think he "knew" how to translate the texts seems at least a little bit off to me... but you got more likes on your post than I got on my post so at least other people like your idea.

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